You probably already shelled out good money for a nice big TV and maybe a streaming gadget for your Netflix. But it doesn’t matter how large your screen is or how much it cost—the speakers in your TV probably sound awful.
You’d be surprised how much more you enjoy those shows with a halfway decent soundbar or surround system hooked up to your primo panel. Explosions pop, dialog sounds far crisper, and you may even notice sonic details in your favorite films that you’ve never picked up before.
Need some advice on how to find a perfect bar? Check out our full article on How to Buy a Soundbar before picking one below.
Updated August 2023: We’ve added the Yamaha SR-C20A and SR-C30A, JBL Bar 1300x, Sennheiser Ambeo Plus and Ambeo Max, and Bang & Olufsen Theatre.
Why you need a soundbar
We have yet to test a new TV that didn’t sound crummy without some kind of audio accessory. That’s mostly due to the way televisions are designed. Great-sounding speakers are bulky, and as TVs have gotten thinner, with shrinking bezels and sleeker designs, manufacturers are having a harder time building good speakers into them.
You can spend as little as $150 on a new soundbar with a subwoofer, and it’s essential to getting the most out of your viewing experience. To help, we put together this list of the best soundbars we’ve tested, including soundbars sold on their own, as well as models that come bundled with a subwoofer. We’ve also compiled some advice on how to make the most of your purchase.
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